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In this issue you will find:

!"The reform of TVBIH - The !"New Radio Station -Radio DISS

memorandum as a starting point Sarajevo
!"Memorandum of Understanding on the !"Protest of the RS Journalist Associations
Restructuring of RTV BiH (final version) !"Media news in brief: No longer quote
!"Monitoring : TV BiH and SRT - How from "Vecernje Novine" in Radio Kljuc
They Covering Other Entity morning program
!"The Media Landscape in Zenica

Media News Prepared by the SAFAX News Agency



♦ Journalism and Democracy ♦ Media in Transition

No 8, Vol I Sarajevo, June,16th 1998.

The Reform of TV BiH

The Memorandum As a Starting Point

Kresimir Zubak signed the Memorandum of understanding ( MoU ) on the reform of TV

BiH, which is in line with the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP), first, and
without hesitation. The cooperation with the Croat member of the BiH Presidency can be linked
to the often-heard suggestions that the imbalance in the BiH media is often to the detriment of
the Croatian people. The deep involvement of Croat Television ( HRT ) on the Bosnian media
landscape, which is one of the points of the MoU, can obviously not make up for the
commercial and other advantages that a proper ( joint ) TV network has to offer, especially in
times when the Croat Democratic Union ( HDZ ) is in disarray.
Before the ultimatum ran out (June 12, 1998 was the last day to sign the MoU), the
chairman of the Presidency, Alija Izetbegovic, signed the document, after having received
guaranties from Carlos Westendorp that the continuity of this station would be secured. Some
days before the Izetbegovic's cabinet had indicated he did not agree with the concept of an
international supervisor since 'there is no need for a switchman or the like in this station'. The
Office of the High Representative ( OHR ) send a prompt response saying that the goal is not to
impose a censorship or to draw a parallel between the supervision of SRT and TV BiH. The
reasons and motives to impose an international supervisor are different. The mandate of the
supervisor for TV BiH will formally be of somewhat a lower category, although that does not
really have to much of an influence since Westendorp himself has the last word when media are
The third member of the BiH Presidency, Momcilo Krajisnik, was from the very beginning
against the idea of an 'unified' media and broadcasting system since he saw in this a revision of

Media News No 8, Vol 1 1

the Dayton Agreement. It seems that in this matter, he got for the first time at least an indirect
support of the Republika Srpska ( RS ) Ministry of Information. Whether Krajisnik will take a
pen in his hand and sign or not, doesn't excite anybody since two of the Joint Presidency
members have already signed document which is enough for the decision to be valid.
The international community has put a lot of effort and patience in collecting the necessary
signatures of people who are willing to create professional standards for a public Radio and TV
Network. The Office of the High Representative has found more flexible partners in the
independent broadcast trade union of TV BiH than among the current leadership, which are
masters in rejecting and not in offering a concrete solution. The main board of the broadcast
trade union was actively involved in creating the final version of this document by giving
endless support. The unequal position of the union and the management of TV BiH led to
confusion, visible in the programs. On the day the deadline expired, the central newscast
reported about a warning to the main board of the union, in particular its president, that they
have to respect the decision of the workers -who otherwise supported the memorandum- or a
strike would follow ?! It seems as if the outgoing
management was trying to 'discipline' the union
representatives. The way in which TV BiH reports
about itself is one more reason to start as soon as
possible with the reforms.
The finish of the nervous discussions on the
reform of TV BiH was also followed by the Media News- all the media news of
'suggestions' of political parties, whose signatures BH collected in one place.
were not sought anyway. Their expectations differ, as
are their political interests. It is interesting that even Issued every second Monday in
an ambassador of a foreign country took the side of English and Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian.
the management of TV BiH because of 'all this Texts by local author are published in
whatever variant is appropriate to the
broadcaster did for BiH during the hardest times". author.
By signing the MoU on the reform of TV BiH, at Published by Media Plan - Safax
least some of political perplexities have been Editor: Zoran Udovičić
removed and, what seems even more important, the Editorial in Sarajevo:
big psychological barriers that were based on the Patriotske lige 30
patriotic identification of TV BiH and the state. (Arhitektosnki fakultet) Sarajevo;
Tel/fax:+387 71 213078 , 20 65 42
A lot of people have breathed easier, although E-mail:
only the first step has been taken. As far as the,
broadcasting system itself is concerned, they have
only reached the surface of the problems. Media
experts need to rebuild a new media model, based on Branch office Banja Luka:
the Dayton Agreement, for the public broadcasters (at Braće Mažar 74, Banja Luka;
Tel/fax: + 381 78 17 943
the state and entity level) that will serve national
reconciliation, free flow of inormation, political
pluralism and the protection of human rights.
Memorandum of Understanding on NAME OF THE AGENCY AND
the Restructuring of RTV BiH SHOWN

Thanks to the Soros Open Society

1. We, the undersigned, pledge to undertake the Fund for B&H and European
reorganisation of Radio Television Bosnia and Commission, local media will receive
Herzegovina (RTV BiH) as set out by the High this service free of charge
Representative and in accordance with the letter and

Media News No 8, Vol 1 2

spirit of the General Framework Agreement for Peace (GFAP). The Attached statute and charter
provided by the High Representative will be the basis for this reorganisation, and may be subject
to future development by the Interim Board of Governors.
2. We commit ourselves, as part of the process of the general restructuring of the media
landscape in BiH, to the provision of a public radio television service for the citizens of the
whole of BiH and for the Federation. This will take place in accordance with the principles laid
down in this MOU and in a phased and orderly fashion. The fundamental structures of both
elements of this service are to be in place by the end of 1998.
3. A public service broadcasting corporation will be established for BiH. The corporation
will reflect the constitutional structure of BiH as defined in the GFAP. It will therefore be
established on the basis of Annex 9 to the GFAP. As for the Federation, a new public entity
television will be formed using the necessary technical infrastructure of RTV BiH. This public
RTV will be subject to principles of administration and transparency as laid out in a new Statute
and Charter provided by the High Representative.
4. RTV BiH will immediately start with the process of restructuring. RTV BiH will
continue its membership in the EBU and other international organisations. The establishment of
Federation television and the restructuring of RTV BiH will begin concurrently.
5. Until such time as the public corporation is established, the Presidency will appoint an
interim Board of Governors for RTV BiH. This Board will be responsible for managing RTV
BiH and will be appointed in accordance with a new Statute and Charter provided by the High
Representative. It will be assigned the task of preparing a comprehensive proposal for the
establishment of the corporation. At least one member of the Board of Governors is to be
selected from the Independent Syndicate of Workers of RTV BiH. Whilst the International
Community remain: engaged in BiH one member of the Board of Governors will be appointed
by the High Representative. The appointment of all members of the Board will be ratified by the
High Representative. In the absence of an agreement on the appointment of the interim board by
12 June 1998. The High Representative will appoint the board directly.
6. The interim Board of Governors will appoint the RTV BiH General Manager. This
General Manager will be assisted by the member of the Board of Governors appointed by the
High Representative as described in article 5 of this MOU. The International Community
member of the Board of Governors, drawing on his broadcasting expertise, will also be
empowered to supervise and administer the restructuring process. He will seek to promote the
best European practices in terms of management, production and programming. He will work to
attract financial, technical and professional assistance from the international community and
European public broadcasters. He will be supported in these endeavors by the High
Representative. He will ensure the independence of the network editorial stance and to initiate
disciplinary procedures pending a final decision of the Board of Governors.
7. The interim Board of Governors will also oversee the establishment of Federation RTV
in accordance with the constitutional structure of the Federation and article 3 of this MOU. This
process is to commence immediately. The interim Board will work together with the OHR on
developing a law for the establishment of Federation RTV. This law is to be adopted as soon as
8. We commit to restructure RTV BiH to meet internationally-recognised standards of
public service broadcasting. This will require the current RTV BiH, the Entity television, and
the public corporation RTV for BiH to display transparency in financial administration, offer
balanced treatment in all news, current affairs and other programming and promote tolerance
among all ethnic communities.
9. Additionally the current RTV BiH, Entity RTV and the public corporation will operate in
accordance with the new regulatory and licensing procedures that will be administered by the

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Independent Media Commission (IMC) until new laws on media and broadcasting have been
adopted by the BiH Parliament. RTV BiH will abide by the Provisional Election Commission
Rules and Regulations for the Media as overseen by the Media Experts Commission (MEC)
until IMC is fully established.
10. We commit ourselves to the full reintegration of the whole transmission infrastructure
within the Federation, as well as within BiH for use by the public corporation and the Federation
RTV. All re-transmission, by terrestrial means, of programming from foreign states on the
territory of BiH will conform to the regulation of the IMC, which will be established by 1 July.
11. The High Representative and the Stabilisation Force (SFOR) is to have free access to all
installations used for public service production and broadcasting including those currently used
for the broadcast of foreign programmes.
12. The reorganisation as set out by the High Representative will commence in good faith
without delay.
June 12, 1998.


TV BiH and SRT : How They Covering Other Entity

During the period of May 25-31, monitors have measured the frequency and nature of the
reports on 'the other entity' in the main informative programs of TV BiH and Serb TV. The aim
was to investigate do or not those state run tv networks give stimulus or contribute cooperation
between the entities and to what extend they cover the entirety of events in BiH.
How to read: in the column 'Number of reports/ total' one finds the total number of reports
on the other entity; under 'headlines' the number of reports announced at the beginning of the
The 'Opinion' column deals with the way the report is presented. -1 indicates a negative
position; +1 means the report had a positive connotation and the monitors attributed 0 to those
items that were neutral information without opinion/characterization by the editor.
Table 1:
Number Of Reports Opinion
In the
Total Headlines Negative –1 Positive +1 Neutral 0

TV BiH 13 1 6 2 5
Srpska TV 24 1 18 0 6

The basic thesis of the monitors was that it is estimated that the programming of both TV
BiH and SRT still do not sufficiently proof their real interest in the events in the other entity or
in the whole of BiH. This is however anticipated in the letter and spirit of the Dayton agreement.
The extent to which the other entity features in programs is in general determined by the current
political events connected to the activities of the OHR, the work of state institutions and
meetings of representatives of the entities. The two broadcasters, of which one pretends to be the
one of Bosnia and Herzegovina as a whole, while the other one declares itself as the national
media of the Serb people, don't show any interest for economic, social and other existential
questions of the neighboring entity. Sports, culture and education as well as many other aspect

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of live are also out of their view. Everyday issues don't succeed in crossing the inter-entity
boundary line and to become interesting for the Bosnian viewers, who as such actually do not
Does the problem stem from the incompetence of the editors to radically change their
editorial policy or from a lack of political will of those who have the biggest influence on the
main media?
In the programs of both stations, there are no visible traces of inflammatory reporting, hate
speech or intolerance. We didn't notice any item with insults of religious or national feelings of
the other peoples. Judging from the overall picture, the passionate nationalist commentaries
have been abandoned. However, on the anniversaries of important war units , they still
vehemently report about the fight against the enemy, but the enemy is no longer named and all
that is left are abstract memories. The removal of the negative war heritage has however not led
to an authentic 'Dayton layer' of media confidence, understanding and, what is most important,
the building of strong professional standards such as a barrier to political, national and other
During the monitoring period, the central newscast of TV BiH contained 13 items on the
Republika Srpska and SRT had 24 reports on the Federation of BiH in the its counterpart
flagship. Broadcast reports from the other Entity are not satisfactory both in a quantitative and in
qualitative way and they are not in accordance with a normal level of communication or with
objective life needs. The criterion of negative selection has been badly hidden in the news (they
are avoiding their comments), a technique more used more often by Serb TV. Positive reports
from the other entity cannot be seen on SRT. They are barely present on TV BiH and they are
usually mixed with critical comments (so they can be easier swallowed ? ).

Refugees on the Peak

TV BiH, during the monitoring period, has released almost the same number of news items
about refugees with negative (6) and neutral (5) connotation. The biggest focus was on the
refugee returns to the RS. On the Bosniak and Croatian refugees to Mrkonjic Grad, Kula near
Zvornik and Bosanski Brod, a correspondent reported from these places by phone. These visits
were basically positively reviewed. For example, a correspondent from Mrkonjic Grad said
there were no incidents during the refugee visits 'because this is an open city'. However, the
announcement of this report contained sort of caution . In these reports TV BiH mostly used
information from the RS wire services.
The most negative context on TV BiH was in an item on the statement given by the
Banjaluka Mayor Djordje Umicevic about the city's readiness to renovate 'any other mosques
besides Ferhadija'. There was also a report on the reactions of some political parties regarding
the obstruction of the elections by the RS Assembly Vice President from the Coalition for
unified BiH. Also the question of arresting the war criminals in the RS is one of the regular
subjects on TV BiH.
Based to the number, origin and quantity of information from the Serb entity, TV BiH can
hardly justify its name. In spite of the general attitude of this media to emphasize verbally an
interest for unified and multiethnic BiH, this fact cannot be made up for.
On the other hand, and during the same period, TV BiH was mostly focused on the work of
the Federal and Cantonal authorities. In one way, it could be said that this station fulfils the role
of the public broadcaster of the Federation of BiH.
At the same time, this appraisal can be denied because of uneven coverage from all parts of
the Federation, especially from those under control of the Croat authorities.

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False Objectivity
Compared to TV BiH, Serb TV, is in a certain way showing a bigger interest for what's
going on in the Federation (more news items) but the essence of this interest can be discovered
through the kind of news that is shown.
This is mostly information with a negative or rarely a neutral context and almost never
news with a positive content. The negative selection is most apparent in the part of the news
dedicated to 'News from the Federation and Croatia', which in itself tries to make those two
regions artificially equidistant? These are usually news flashes about the conflicts between the
Federal partners ( Mostar, Travnik, Stolac and Livno most often mentioned ) and the
responsibility for these conflicts is being shown as almost equal. The source of this information
are electronic and print media from Sarajevo or official international sources; Correspondent
reports from the Federation were not registered. News is often reduced and always with the
source quoted to emphasize their credibility. At the same time, SRT remains silent with respect
some important events in the Federation (for example, the session of the House of
Representative of Federation).
Serb TV was interested in reactions on moving the Inter-Entity Boundary Line near Sanski
Most (exchange of villages Velecani and Dobocani for Koprivna). A few times they covered
the refusal of the Croat authorities in the Mostar-Neretva Canton to accept Cyrillic on the new
car papers. SRT also reported on the problems regarding the return of Serbs to Drvar. They
quoted from Mile Marceta 's statement who requested that "the responsibility for the recent
incidents be investigated; and that HVO ( military units of Bosnian Croats ) leaves the city and
the formation of a multi-ethnic police force must take place." There was also short news on the
Assembly Session of the Serb Civic Council in Sarajevo, an item that was previously ignored by
this station.
It is interesting that Serb TV never mentions other parts of BiH in its regular weather
forecast, while TV BiH always gives the weather forecast without mentioning the Entities.

Popularity of Political Figures

From 25 to 31 May 1998 the level in which the names of the most eminent political
representatives of three nations in the BiH government were mentioned, was measured. The
main news broadcasts of TV BiH and SRT were monitored.
Table 2 consists of quantitative data on number of times the names of the members of BiH
Presidency and three members of Council of Ministers were appeared or mentioned. The table
does not include any qualitative elements, such as connotation, time, place and the way of
presenting the reports about the activities of the representatives of the highest government

Table 2

Alija Krešimir Momčilo Haris Boro Jadranko Total

Izetbegović Zubak Krajišnik Silajdžić Bosić Prlić
BiH 10 4 1 5 1 1 22
Srpska TV
0 0 7 1 2 0 10

The two TV stations report in the same, and somehow standardized way on the BiH
Presidency and the Council of Ministers meetings. Some statements have been combined with

Media News No 8, Vol 1 6

statements of some of the participants in these sessions. Serb TV showed more statements than
After the Presidency sessions both stations broadcast the statements of the Izetbegović's
political advisor Mirza Hajric, while Serb TV in addition showed the statement of Momcilo
The session of the Council of Ministers has been followed by the statements of the co-
chairmen Haris Silajdzic and Boro Bosic. SRT added as well the statement of Vice-Chairman
Neven Tomic.
However, information on work of the highest government bodies had the most visible place
on the news of TV BiH. Serb TV gave more visibility to a statement of the RS Government.
The information on some other activities of the highest governmental officials was released
more often on TV BiH (22) than on SRT (10). TV BiH often mentions also the names: Alija
Izetbegovic (10) and Haris Silajdzic (5) but rarely names Momcilo Krajisnik (1), Boro Bosic (1)
and Jadranko Prlic (1). Serb TV mentions mostly Momcilo Krajisnik (7) while the names Alija
Izetbegovic, Kresimir Zubak and Jadranko Prlic were never mentioned.
It is interesting that Momcilo Krajisnik is the only one who was criticized on 'his' TV,
which released the statement of the RS Government in which he is accused of illegal possession
of documentation on the national goods reserves.
It is obvious that TV BiH prefers protocolar and other activities and of Bosniak
representatives while Serb TV usually ignores activities of the representatives of BiH joint
institutions. The exception to this is Momcilo Krajisnik who had a privilege to be in media
more than other is thanks to his spreading of ghost ( fear ) of unified ( unitarian ) Bosnia and his
re-interpretation of the Dayton Peace Agreement. His statements on the attempts to create a
unified BiH TV system, using the name Bosnia and Herzegovina in or with some federal
institutions (Army BiH, Academy of Sciences etc) got significant airtime on SRT.
( Media Plan Monitoring Center )

The Media Landscape in Zenica

Beginnings of Local Competition

There are seven media that are active in Zenica today, one of them is print and the other six
are electronic media with a recognizable program concept. Most of these media were launched
in last seven years, except the paper Naša riječ and Radio Zenica who existed before the war.
Some electronic media as NTL Zetel, Beta Radio and part of CD radio, are privately
An earlier analysis of the media in Zenica shows that all of them have the same or identical
news, selection of subjects sources or of information, as well as the fact that the differences that
are more obvious every day. The editor's choice, or its personal and technical (im-) possibilities
had an influence on media contents in accordance with motivation structure and expected
preferences of a recipient.
That process has run parallel with the development of communication openness, the
support for pluralism and raising the number of potential sources of information in the whole of
BiH. Anyway, a policy of media development and public opinion did not determine that process

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at the beginning. Besides that, some characteristics, stereotypes first, still seriously disrupt the
functioning of most of the media and examples of investigative-analytic journalism are still rare.

Radio Stations
Four local radio stations broadcast continuously in the Zenica region. The programs they
have in common are music and entertainment, with regular informative programs that are
embellished with a preference for the ruling parties.
The oldest one is Radio Zenica (106.6 and 93.6 MHz), which has the most qualified
personnel and equipment. Although there has been no public opinion research done in the last
six years, it is estimated that mostly elderly people listen to them to and that the most popular
show is the contact-program. Radio Zenica was formed as the voice of the former SSRN ( Social
Alliance of Working People ), and has now become a part of the public company RTV Zenica.
During the state of war, the station was transformed in a share holders company, but was again
brought during the war under the local authorities.
While the informative programs mostly take the news from news agencies and other media,
young listeners mostly tune in to the new stations: Radio Beta (97.5 MHz), Radio CD (100.7
MHz) and Radio BM (100 MHz)
The programs of these stations, especially Radio Beta, are based on entertainment, while
their information is mostly based on news agencies and information from other media. The
entertainment contents, in which music dominates, are most of the time contact programs, often
with games. Radio Beta made its programs a little more interesting by broadcasting football and
soccer matches, which enhances the possible interest of advertisers.
BM Radio is the youngest (only a short time ago they celebrated their first year), and their
name (Bosnian-Muslim Radio) shows they are mainly oriented towards one nationalities and
one religion. The content of the programs could however, also be interesting to other
CD Radio (started broadcasting in 1991) has lost its position as the voice of the young
urban population to the new radio. The distance of the station to the city center has made the
work of the news team harder.
All four stations are very active in trying to attract advertisers; which in turn creates a good
competition among the different programs.

TV Stations
There are two local TV stations in Zenica, TV Zenica and NTV ZETEL; the first one is a
public and the other a private broadcaster. The programs offered by NTV ZETEL are a lot more
diverse. The right to broadcast serials, documentaries and sports, a right granted to ZETEL when
it became a part of the OBN Network, has given NTV ZETEL the opportunity to create a more
interesting programs schedule. That can also be said about their informative programs that are
pooling from a larger source of information. BTV ZETEL retransmits the OBN News at 2000H
as well as the "Voice of America' in Bosnian.
Besides these two stations, there is a part of town with cable TV, whose status and
programming schedule are an unknown quantity.
The large number of satellite dishes enables viewers to watch HRT and RTS and other
foreign media.

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Print Media
The only print media that created a continuum is the weekly Naša riječ. This media has the
longest tradition in town (founded in 1956) as the voice of the SSRN and was transformed
during the war in a shareholders company, but the new conditions do not permit an increase in
the number of copies or its influence. The magazine is printed in Zenica as well as a number of
cultural-educational publications that appear irregularly. We mention 'Hijatus', 'Hijatus Junior',
'Znak Bosna', 'Didakticki Putokazi' and 'Krijesnica'.
Besides the print media from Sarajevo (the most popular are Dnevni avaz and Dani) there
area relatively large number of Croatian publications available and read in the Zenica area.
Especially Slobodna Dalmacija, Večernji list as well as FeralTribune from Split. In the City
Library they have some of the publications from the Republika Srpska ('Novi Prelom',
'Panorama' etc.) (Damir Kukic)

News in Brief

Gašić on the MoU

On the occasion of the signing of the MoU, the International Supervisor for SRT, Dragan
Gasic has said that a unified TV station can only be realized if the Federation of BiH and the RS
cooperate, because informing is still the competence of the entities, as is foreseen in the Dayton
Indication that in this case there is no forced cooperation, he said that he hopes that one day
there will be a unified broadcaster. In such a project, the kind of programs as well as the kind of
cooperation, will depend entirely upon the interests and wishes of both entities. Expressing his
satisfaction with the signed MoU, Gasic supported the installation of an international
administrator for TV BiH. He pointed out that at TV BiH not everything was as professional as
it should be, and that a 'western' level was not yet reached.

How to Improve Distribution of the Print Media

Media Plan Sarajevo/Banja Luka in cooperation with the London-based Institute for
Journalism in Transition , and with the support of the EU's PHARE Program, has organized a
round table on "Inter-Entity Information Exchange And Freedom To Distribute Print Media On
The Whole Territory Of BiH". The round table was held in Brcko on June 8, 1998. Some 20
journalists and distributors of print media from both entities stressed the need for concrete steps
to be taken to ensure the normal circulation of print media in all parts of the country. It was
especially noted that two-an-a-half years after the end of the war, the distribution lines are still
Asim Bajric, the representative of OPRESA, the largest distribution house in the Federation
of BiH, based in Sarajevo, expressed that his company was ready to start with the distribution of
all RS newspaper in the territory of the Federation they cover. "A firm agreement with the
publishers is needed, on the precise conditions and in what way these publications are
circulated, as well as a solution for the financial traffic", Bajric said, stressing that after these
issues were solved, unhindered distribution could start.
The representative of Media Plan Banja Luka, Sunita Sukalo, conveyed that Glas srpski is
ready to distribute publications from the Federation in the Republika Srpska. It was agreed that
Media News No 8, Vol 1 9
Media Plan Banja Luka will act as mediator in the talks between OPRESA from Sarajevo and
Glas srpski from Banja Luka.
The current distribution efforts have so far only led to partial agreements that have allowed
a limited circulation of a small number of papers in a mainly urban area. OPRESA, for instance,
is distributing Reporter from Banjaluka for the last couple of months, while Vecernje novine and
Slobodna Bosna are on sale in Banjaluka at the newspaper stands of Nezavisna novine; NN for
its part is sold in Sarajevo by the Vecernje novine hawkers.

Radio DISS

In Ilidza, a suburb of Sarajevo, DISS Radio (FM 107.5MHz) started broadcasting on June
6, 1998. An association of civilians, the Democratic Initiative of Sarajevo Serbs ( DISS ),
founded the station. The European Union, USAID and the Embassies of Canada, The
Netherlands and Sweden ensured material support for this new media.
"This is the first radio station in the Federation of BiH that was opened by citizens of Serb
nationality. The meaning of this is al the greater since this station was founded in the Sarajevo
Canton, in Ilidza, a suburb considered as an 'initial capsule' for return. This station will
broadcast programs that are in support of the Dayton Agreement. It will contribute to the
democratization process the protection of human rights and all that is in the interest of the
population in this are", says the director of Radio DISS, Jezdimir Milosevic.
According to Director Milosevic, Radio DISS is currently broadcasting an experimental
program during the whole day, but once the program schedule will be adopted, broadcasts will
be from 07-19h; in the evening the station will relay some of the programs on satellite.
Radio DISS, which has a staff of about ten journalists and technicians, was solemnly started
by Mr. Arnold Horowitz of the Office of the High Representative.

Protest of the RS Journalist Associations

As announced by Alternativna informativna mreža/ Alternative Information network ( AIM

), the chairman of the Independent Journalist Association of the RS (NUN RS), Branko Peric,
has written to Aiden White, the secretary-general of the International Federation of Journalists
(IFJ) to express his sharp protest against the decision of the IFJ's Executive Board not to
consider the request of NUN RS to become a member of IFJ. This decision was taken under the
pretext that "NUN RS is a member of existing B-H journalist trade union ".
"You, Mr. White, have been in Sarajevo at the founding session of the Trade Union of
Professional Journalists and haven't you noticed that this is not a Union of Journalists of BiH but
only of one entity? Of the Federation of BiH. Not one of the RS journalists was present at that
founding session and presenting that meeting of journalists from Sarajevo as a Union of BiH
Journalists is an unheard swindle" the letter says.
Warning that any journalists association at BiH level would require clear position of
journalist organizations from both entities in BiH, Peric maintains that such talks never took
place and therefor, "the founded union can in no way legitimately represent the interests of the
RS Journalists".

Media News No 8, Vol 1 10

Mesihović New-Elected President of B-H Journalist Association

Edis Mesihovic, the editor-in-chief of the BHPRESS news agency, is the new president of
the B-H Journalist Association ( Savez novinara BiH (SNBiH). He will replace the current
president, Enver Causevic. This decision was taken at the electoral assembly of the SNBIH, held
in Sarajevo.
The decision to bring the statutes of the SNBIH in line with Law on Associations of
Civilians was also taken at this assembly. To do so, the function of Chairman of the Assembly
was created and Sabahudin Hadzialic, a freelance journalist, was elected to this post.
Inter-Entity Journalists Conference
On May 29-30, 1998, the OSCE's Media Development Office organized an Inter-Entity
Journalists Conference on the theme "Media and The BiH General Elections in 1998".
180 journalists from all over BiH participated in the conference and the keynote speakers
were both local and foreign media experts. The discussion concentrated on training for BiH
journalist and the ways media can report on political activities during the election campaign.

Večernje novine Banned

According to the Sarajevo daily Večernje novine (VN), the Mayor of Kljuc and Chairman
of the local branch of the Party of Democratic Action ( SDA ), Asim Egrlic, has ordered that
Radio Kljuc can no longer quote from VN in its morning program "Daily Press Review". The
director of the station, Eniz Kazic, who was appointed by the current authorities, has
immediately implemented this decision so that in the program only Dnevni avaz is reviewed.
This act of censorship followed the reading on air of a piece in VN on the national opposition in
BiH. In this way, Mayor Egrlic has denied the citizens of Kljuc every possibility to get balanced
information on their local radio station.
In general, Radio Kljuc and its journalists are daily exposed to threats coming from all
sides. The last time, a local thug had threatened to kill a journalist, and the police decided not to
take any action, is spite of a complaint that was filed. However, the most often they are
threatened with being fired and the close down of the radio station. The most absurd threat
however, was a bomb threat by a citizen because of the words "dobar dan" (good morning) in
the news.

The Government Helps Local Media

The RS Ministry of Information took action to helping the local media. In this respect, they
have put funds aside for individual municipalities and indented to buy equipment for local
media. Included are: RTV Rudo (new transmitter) and assistance to local radio stations in
Cajnica, Srpsko Gorazde, Han Pijesak, Ljubinje and Bratunac.
The ministry claims the funds come from the payments for the use of broadcast frequencies,
as set out in the law.

Media News No 8, Vol 1 11

Wrongly Named

The Media Experts Sub-Commission in Banja Luka has warned the private radio station
'BIG' that they have to use the correct names when quoting media from the Federation of BiH.
In a letter send to the owner of the station, Ljubisi Kragulju, the MESC points out that the
PEC Rules and Regulations were violated because they called Radio BiH 'Muslim Radio
Sarajevo". The Sub-Commission requests that radio BIG uses the correct terminology when
naming sources in the Federation of BiH.
The letter further requires radio BIG to send a confirmation that they agree. A copy of the
Sub-Commission's letter was send to the Media Experts Commission in Sarajevo, the Banja
Luka branch of the Office of the High Representative and to the RS Ministry if Information.

Dear readers,
since May 18, Media Plan and Safax have moved to new premises, which address is
Patriotske lige 30/III (Arhitektonski fakultet), 71000 Sarajevo;
and new phone numbres are ………………
Tel/fax: 071 206 542, 213 078, 213 251

Media News No 8, Vol 1 12